Marriage, birth and divorce certificates: what to do with important documents issued by another country - ForumDaily
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Marriage, birth and divorce certificates: what to do with important documents issued by another country

The reason for writing this column was the ruling of one of the Moscow courts - it left our claim for divorce without progress. The court demanded that the original marriage certificate be submitted to the case file, although this requirement does not comply with the law. In the end, we proved this and accepted the application. But I decided that it was important to talk about this, because many courts can make such a violation and thereby ruin people’s nerves and lives.

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The marriage in question was registered in the United States, which, by the way, is fully recognized in Russia. Article 158 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation expressly provides that marriages between citizens of the Russian Federation and marriages between citizens of the Russian Federation and foreigners, concluded outside the territory of the Russian Federation in compliance with the legislation of the state in whose territory they were concluded, are recognized as valid in the Russian Federation.

Marriage certificates, as well as other documents issued by the competent authorities of foreign states, must be legalized in Russia, unless otherwise provided by international treaties of the Russian Federation, and translated into the state language of the Russian Federation. The correctness of the translation must be notarized. In some cases, a translated and certified document may be required to stamp the competent authority of the state in which this document was made (Article 3 of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961).

Particular attention should be paid to the issuance of repeated documents. Article 9 of the Law “On Acts of Civil Status” establishes that in any case when a citizen does not have the opportunity to use a certificate of state registration of a civil status act (damage, loss, unreadability, lamination of the document, etc.), the civil registry office issues a repeat certificate or other document , confirming the fact of state registration of a civil status act.

But back to the court. Articles 55 and 71 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation establish requirements for evidence in civil proceedings on the territory of the Russian Federation. Written evidence are documents containing information about the circumstances relevant to the consideration and resolution of the case. A document received in a foreign state is recognized as written evidence in court if its authenticity is not refuted and it is legalized in the prescribed manner.

As part of our claim, we submitted to the court a genuine marriage certificate issued by the state registry office of the state of Nevada (USA). The document was issued on special paper with a watermark, signed by the registrar of Clark County (Nevada) and sealed with his seal. The certificate issued is an exact and complete copy of the original deed of record held by the state, but the certificate itself is a genuine original document. As required by law, the marriage certificate is Apostilled, which also states that the document is signed by the Clark County Registrar and stamped by the Clark County Registrar's office, Nevada, United States of America.

Thus, in terms of form and content, the document fully complies with the requirements of Russian legislation for foreign documents in general, and for registry office documents in particular. The inscription on the document “A certified copy, this document is a true and exact copy of a registered document” means that this original certificate of state registration of marriage is a true and exact copy of the act record, which at all times and in all countries was a document for official use, and under no circumstances is it issued to citizens in their hands. Thus, the Russian law (Article 77 of the Law of the Russian Federation “On acts of civil status”) provides that the books of state registration of acts of civil status are stored in the bodies of registration of acts of civil status within a hundred years from the date of these records. After hundred years the civil registry offices transfer the originals of the civil status records to the state archives.

“The court’s requirement to submit the original marriage certificate to the case file is not based on the law. The case materials contain the original marriage certificate, issued by the competent and authorized body of a foreign state, legalized by means of an apostille and containing a notarized translation into Russian, that is, drawn up in the best traditions of law enforcement practice of international legislation,” this is exactly the answer we gave the court to the ruling on leaving the claim without progress.

And the very next day, without the need for an appeal and subsequent proof, the judge issued a ruling on accepting the case for its proceedings. To date, the case has been considered on its merits, the marriage between the spouses has been dissolved, and other matrimonial problems have been completely resolved.

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Any duplicate document - domestic or foreign - is an original if issued by an authorized government body. Daily on Our New York office hundreds of clients apply with a request to transfer / send their original birth certificate to Russia, for completely different purposes, in particular, for the procedure for entering into an inheritance. Most of these people have a representative in Russia, who, in accordance with the power of attorney he has, can apply to the registry office and receive any repeated document, and therefore there is no need to send precious green books to Russia to those whose acts of civil status are registered in Russia. It is much easier, cheaper, and less stressful to let your representative get a duplicate registry office document, which, as I have already noted, has the power of the original and is the original.

Material prepared in partnership with

Karina Duval - lawyer, notary, expert in international law

Russian registration: #78/857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542

tel: + 7 (921) 946-0582 (in Russia) / + 1 (718) 704-8558 (in USA)
[email protected],

Read also on ForumDaily:

International divorce: how to divide custody of a child if the parents are citizens of different countries

How to translate important documents correctly so that they are accepted by government agencies in the United States or in the immigrant's home country

How a small document (or lack thereof) can create big problems: a cautionary tale from a lawyer

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